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their pleasure ; who totally neglected the House of Commons, as if they were never chosen members of it.
He wondered that their constituents did not take means to inforce their attendance.
Deferred the other orders of the day to Friday.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
THURSDAY, DEC. 6. Mr. Hobarı brought up the report of the malt, &c. bill, which was ordered to be read a third time the next day, if then engrossed.
The Scots small notes bill was ordered to be reported the next day.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer moved the second seading of the Income bill, which was read a second time, and or dered to be committed next day.
LAND TAX REDEMPTION BIL.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer then moved, that the act of alt sellion, for the sale and redemption of the land tax, be now read.
The a&t being read accordingly,
The Chancelor of the Exchequer then rose and said, that it was his intention now to move for leave to bring in a bill to render the faid act more effectual, and to give greater facility to the execution of its provisions. This additional facility was in the first ialtance the object of the new bill; but atnong the intended regulations, one of the first would be to allow an extension of the time now limited for the redemption. He likewise thought it adviseable to make certain provisions for enabling persons to make contracts in fum; of money for the redemption of the tax. There were also perfons who poffefied estates in different counties, and by the lait bill such persons were enabled to charge their p:operty in one county, in order to redeem their land tax in another. This point, in his mind, involved no difficulty but it still gave rise to fome objections among the comisioners, which he was now desirous to remove. It was another leading oba ject of the new bill to make certain regulations respecting ecclesiastical property, and persons poffelling property, devised for lives and on long terms, and who had no claim to the fame benefits as persons enjoying entailed eiates: he doubted
not but a mode might be devised of extending the advantages of the act to all such persons. Some obfervations also had arisen respecting the inequality of affetiments in different parishes; it was even supposed, and perhaps upon just grounds, ihat there existed some inequality in the allellinenis of different parishes; that some persons had been over-rated might be true; it was therefore his wish to allow them a pro rata reduction, in consideration of their being so over-rated. In such cafes also where a re-affement had taken place, he intended to propose that such persons as had redeemed their land tax, should not be liable to any additional alleffinent, There were many other points upon which he would not at present detain the House; but he deemed it his duty to state the principal outlines that Gentlemen might turn thein in their minds, and assist him by their observations. This, he trusted, they would be foon able to do, because he felt ex. ceedingly desirous to expedite the measure on account of the great avidity that manitested itsely in every corner of the country to partake of the advantages which ihe act held out,
There might, indeed, remain fome doubts upon points of detail, but thefe he expected would be fully cleared away by the provisions of the new act. Whatever might have been the greater doubis and greater objections, that some had at first railed against the measure, he was happy to be able to say that such doubts and objections would soon appear to have been wholly unfounded, for the success, he could boldly affert, had far exceeded his most fanguine expectations. He con, cluded by moving for leave to bring in a bill, to enlarge the time limited for the redemption of the land tax, and to explain and amend the provilions of the bill introduced last session for that purpose.
Mr. Jones said, he did not rise to oppose the motion made by the right hon. Gentleman, especially if the measure he had in contemplation was, as the right hon. Gentleman intimated, so palatable to the public. But that alterations and amendments should be necessary to it, he was not ai all sure prised; for he could not forget the precipitancy with which the right hon. Gentleman hurried the land tax bill through the House last year, not withstanding the earnest folicitations of many respçếtable Gentlemen that further time might be allowed for a inore mature examination of its various and complicated clauses. He was sorry to use any thing like offenfive or harsh expressions, but he could not help faying that it was a fevere reflection on the right hon. Gentleman not
to have attended more patien:ly to the solicitations of the House upon that occafion; it might be said that a few alterations would render the bill acceptable, but, in his opinion, no alterations could remove what was obje hionable in it. We had it from high authority, that the measure had already been productive of the happiest consequences, yet we are now told that the bill cannot go on as it now stands. Indeed he felt so much and so keenly for the landed interest, that he could not but consider the present measure as a blow aimed, at it in favour of the monied interest, nor could he help adopting the opinion and the words of an honourable Member, that between the landed and the monied interest, property was about to change hands. The measure he als ways looked upon as iniquitous, and if no more competent Member than himself would take it up, he should feel it incumbent upon himself to make an effort that an act of justice might be done to the landed proprietors; for the measure now proposed he had no hesitation in denominating, the child of inordinate power,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said, 'that he was not inore surprised at the asperity of language used by the honourable Gentleman, than at the incoherency of his arguments. It appeared from what he advanced, that the honourable Genileman had as little attended to the original provisions of the act, as to the beneficial effe as it had produced throughout the country. What was now proposed was merely some few subordinate provisions for facilitating the execution of the act, and for extending its benefits by a wider operation. Contrary to the assertion of the hon. Gentleman, he not only did not say that the Bill could not go on, but he had exprefliy asserted that it had already been attended with very great benefits, and those even such as had far exceeded his most fanguine expectations. How true, how correct, how dispassionate were the hon. Gentleman's obfervations he would freely leave it to his cuoler refledion to consider. The hon. Gentlemen talks of some measure of justice towards the landed interest. This again was strony language ; but he was happy to say that there was no call for
such measure ; for in spite of the objections and opposition of the hon. Gentleman, and a few of his friends, and in spite of the çlamour that had been so industriously raised against the measure, it would abundantly appear that it had proved not only beneficial to the country at large, but particularly ada vantageons to the landed interest. The Bill in its passage VOL. I 1798.
through the House last Seslion, had undergone many weeks discullion; there was no stage of it in which its principle or its provisions were not opposed, he would not say by trite or frivolous arguments, for many of those that were urged were the result of calm judgment and cool consideration ; yet this is the bill which the hon. Gentleman contends was hurried through the House with unbecoming precipitancy. The hon. Gentleinan is also pleased to ftile it an act of power ;--and most unquestionably with great propriety, for it was an act of the legislature; and lie trusted that acts of the legislature would long prove to be acts of power. Nor did he conceive it fo fevere a reflection upon his conduct as the hon. Gentleman seemed disposed to infinuate ; that he should have preferred the general opinion of the House to that of the hon. Gentleman and some few of his friends, and that he was less swayed by their solicitations than by the well founded arguments of those who framed and supported the bill. As to his not forelecing the neceflity of the Bill being altered and amended, that was a reflection which he was not anxious to ward off. It was not merely the fault of his forefight, but was also a reflection upon the foresight of the ablert law authorities in the Kingdom, who never pretended, much less did he pretend, to attain complete perfection at once, especially in a measure so various, lo complicated and fo extenlive. He had now been twelve or fourteen years endeavouring to bring forward measures of that nature, and he was not afhained to confess that the first specimens of his schemes were not as correct and perfect as further enquiry, and more minute investigation, might have rendered them. Of most of his financial plans he could say the same, but he trusted that by perseverance and attention he had brought them to something like perfection. He did not therefore feel the least hurt at not being supposed to have in the first instance made a bill more correct and perfect, that was to be framed out of new, difficult and intricate matter: As often as he was censured for his endeavours to correct his measures, so often would he receive such censures ás compliments.
Mr. Jones explained, and contended that the Gentleman who had formerly divided with him against the bill, had always urged against it the best founded arguments.
Mr. Burdon faid, that fo far from expecting the bill thould have met with no obstacles, it appeared 10 hii fura prising that it thould have proved fo practicable in the very
outfet. He could not therefore but applaud the wisdom of his right honourable friends in adopting such alterations as would give additional facility to the execution of its provifions, by which the country had already been so materially benefited.
But he principally' rose to express a wish, that whatever amendincnts were necessary to the bill might be introduced as /peedily as poflible, and he particularly approved of that which extended the line of payment-here he wished as inuch latitude might be given as posible for fuch payments, and if made in stock, he would think it more ad viseable. In the progress of the bill he hoped there would be introduced & clanse to fetile the rest of Freeholders at Elections, which at present was a point that seemed to remain indecided. Upon the whole he was satisfied that the bill would not appear to have in view the object which some Gentlemen pretended to give it, namely, to serve ceriain political purposes; but that it would be clearly demonstrated, especially when it was duly amended, that its operation would tend to the general good of the country-in that light it should have 'his most cordial fupport.
The motion was then put, and leave given to bring in abe bill.
STAFF OFFICERS. Mr. M. 1. Taylor faid, he wilned to submit a motion to the House, to which he could not think that his Majesty's ministers would inake the least objetion. Its oliject was to get information why the charge in the army eltimates for Staff Oficers thould have so far exceeded that of lait ycar.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer did not object to the inotion ; but said, that before the papers were laid before the House he could satisfy the honourable Gentleman's curiosity, by informing hini, that as last year a very considerable body of the Supplementary militia had been called out into actual service, it was natural that à proportionable rugmentation thould have taken place in the number of Staff Officers.
Mr. Taylor then moved, that there be laid before the House an account of the number of General and Staff Qumcers now in the service of Great Britain, specifying their re, Spedive ranks, the divisions in which they ferve, and the amount of the pay they received --Ordered.
The other orders of the House were then disposed of, and the House adjourned.